Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, March 3, 2018
OffTrackBetting.com - The Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park is a "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points race, with the top four finishers accruing points toward starting-gate eligibility for the Run for the Roses on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after their share of the 50-20-10-5 points awarded and the $400,000 purse when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles.
||He Takes Charge
||Free Drop Billy
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Good Magic tops a list of 36 3-year-olds nominated to the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) March 3 at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Fountain of Youth, a prep for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park and the 2018 Triple Crown, will headline a program offering nine stakes (eight graded) worth a total of $1.5 million in purses.
Honored as champion 2-year-old male at the Eclipse Awards in January, Good Magic captured the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 4 at Del Mar in his 2017 finale. The Chad Brown-trained colt, who finished second in his debut and finished a close second in the Champagne (G1) prior to his 4 ¼-length score in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, has been training sharply at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
Courtlandt Farm's Strike Power, who captured the Feb. 3 Swale (G3) at Gulfstream Park by 2 ¾ lengths in only his second career start, is among the more high-profile nominees. The Mark Hennig-trained colt debuted with a sizzling nine-length score at Gulfstream Dec. 3.
Trainer Todd Pletcher nominated eight horses for the Fountain of Youth, including Holy Bull (G2) winner Audible, Biblical, Gidu, Impact Player, Marconi, Maraud, Noble Indy and Vino Rosso. Marconi, who is owned by Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, is expected to start in the 72nd running of the Fountain of Youth. The $2 million yearling purchase, who is a half-brother to Mucho Macho Man, most recently finished third in the Feb. 3 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct.
Trainer Dale Romans nominated six horses, including Cove Blue, Free Drop Billy, Promises Fulfilled, Seven Trumpets, Storm Runner and Tiz Mischief. Albaugh Family Stables' Free Drop Billy, second behind Audible in the Holy Bull; Robert Baron's Promises Fulfilled, who finished third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill in his 2017 finale; and Team Valor International and Gemstone Stable's Storm Runner, a Feb. 4 optional claiming allowance winner at Gulfstream; are expected to run.
Other notable nominees include Catholic Cowboy, Avery Island, Enticed and Gotta Go.
About the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2)
The Fountain of Youth Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida at the beginning of March. It is a race for sophomores on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and has been contested at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park in South Florida each February since 1945.
The race is named for the mythical spring that gave eternal youth to whomever drank from it. Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon searched unsuccessfully for the spring throughout Florida.
The Fountain of Youth Stakes has become one of the most important spring 3-year-old races and traditionally attracts a strong field. Its importance is reflected in the fact that it's included in the first leg of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship series. The first four home earn points on a 50-20-10-5 basis, and the 50 points earned by the winner should ensure they get a start in the Kentucky Derby.
It also is one of the key lead-ups to the Florida Derby.
Famous horses to have won the race include Tim Tam, Kauai King, Spectacular Bid, Bet Twice, Forty Niner, Fly So Free, Thunder Gulch, Pulpit, Quality Road and recent Classic winners Union Rags and Orb.